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Godfrey Marten, Undergraduate   By: (1868-1940)

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GODFREY MARTEN

UNDERGRADUATE

BY

CHARLES TURLEY

AUTHOR OF 'GODFREY MARTEN, SCHOOLBOY'

LONDON

WILLIAM HEINEMANN

1904

All rights reserved

CONTENTS

CHAP.

I. OXFORD II. INTERVIEWS III. THE RESULT OF THE FRESHERS' MATCH IV. UNEXPECTED PEOPLE V. THE WINE VI. JACK WARD AND DENNISON VII. THE INN AT SAMPFORD VIII. LUNCHEON WITH THE WARDEN IX. A SURPRISE X. MY MAIDEN SPEECH XI. A CRICKET MATCH AT BURTINGTON XII. THE USE AND ABUSE OF AN ESSAY XIII. NINA COMES TO OXFORD XIV. GUIDE, HOST AND NURSE XV. MISHAPS XVI. THE SCHEMES OF DENNISON XVII. THE PROFESSOR AND HIS SON XVIII. THE ENERGY OF JACK WARD XIX. THE WARDEN AND THE BRADDER XX. THE HEDONISTS XXI. ONE WORD TOO MANY XXII. A TUTORSHIP XXIII. OUR LAST YEAR

CHAPTER I

OXFORD

The night before I left home for Oxford I had a talk with my father. He was not of the sentimental kind, but I knew that he had a rare fondness for my brother, my sister Nina and myself, and I have never had a moment when I did not return his affection. He had always been bothered by my lack of seriousness, and he doubted whether I should really get the best out of 'Varsity life. After telling me that the time had come for me to treat things more seriously, he finished up by saying: "I am going to give you two hundred pounds a year, which is more than I can afford, and which, with your exhibition, must be enough for you. I have put that amount to your credit in the bank at Oxford, and I don't expect to hear anything about money from you either during the term or when you are at home. You ought to know by this time what money is worth, and that debt is a thing you must avoid. Be a man, Godfrey, and don't forget that the first step towards becoming one is to behave like a gentleman."

I shook his hand to show that I understood, for he wanted neither promises nor protestations, and if I had been able to be sentimental he would have left the room without listening to me.

He didn't say much, but what he did say was beautifully simple, and on leaving him I felt very solemn and, since I must tell the truth, very important. The idea of having a bank account was one which did not lose its glamour for several days. There was something about my first cheque book which pleased me immensely, for I had not been brought up in a nest of millionaires, and am glad to confess that until I went to Oxford the possibilities attached to a five pound note were almost without limit.

Fred Foster who had been staying with me and I parted at Oxford railway station without falling on each other's necks, but although we did not cause any further obstruction on a platform already far too crowded, we understood that the friendship which had prospered during so many years at school was not going to be interrupted because he had got a scholarship at Oriel while I was an exhibitioner of St. Cuthbert's.

I began by losing my luggage, which was exactly the way some people would have expected me to begin, and when I arrived at the college lodge I must have looked as if I had come to spend a Saturday to Monday visit. One miserable bag was all I possessed, and the porter viewed me, as I thought, with suspicion. He was a grumpy old person, and when I told him that I had lost my luggage he grunted, "Gentlemen do, especially when they're fresh," which I thought very fair cheek on his part, though I did not feel at that moment like telling him so.

Then having said that my name was Marten, he hunted in a list and told a man to take my bag to Number VII. staircase in the back quadrangle. I followed, feeling rather dejected, and I cannot say that the first sight of my rooms tended to raise my spirits. They were small and dismal, the window opened on to a balustrade which, if it prevented me from falling into the quadrangle, also managed to shut out both light and air. The furniture can be described correctly by the word adequate; there were some chairs and a table, college furniture for which I was privileged to pay rent... Continue reading book >>




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